Search Site

Pit Falls to look for in an Alabama Workers’ Compensation Settlement

Pit Falls to look for in an Alabama Workers’ Compensation Settlement

We have previously posted that no one is entitled to a settlement; a settlement is a meeting of two minds, and as long as you do not control the actions of both parties, then you can’t force a settlement.  Having stated this, the truth of the matter is that most Alabama workers compensation claims do settle, but there are pitfalls to watch out for in a potential settlement.

The first thing that jumps to my mind is the language in settlement agreements.  The phrase “any and all” would prohibit you from pursuing any other benefits you might be entitled to receive, both within the confines of Alabama’s Workers’ Compensation system and outside of it.  This is huge.  Settlement documents are generally several pages long and filed with legal language, and a clause like “any and all” can easily be overlooked, especially when you do not understand how all-encompassing this language has been found to be.

Secondly, sometime the employer and/or their workers compensation insurance carrier will refuse to settle your claim (and again, they are under no compulsion to settle any claim) unless you give up certain valuable rights, such as the right to potential future vocational benefits (click here for information on vocational benefits) or your right to future medical benefits.  If you have been told that in order to settle your claim you must give up other valuable rights for free, then I would seriously doubt that the settlement is really in your best interest.

Third, it you are agreeing to settle your right to future medical care, neglecting to consider how such a decision could possibly affect Medicare’s future interest should you later become entitled to Medicare benefits (click here for more information).  Failure to take into consideration how your settlement could conflict with Medicare could end up leaving you with no way of obtaining medical care by using Medicare and a Medicare Set Aside agreement may be needed to protect you.

Additionally, if as a result of your workplace injury you are permanently disabled, then settling may not be in your best interest in the long run.  The way Alabama Workman Compensation laws are written, the court cannot order the defendant to pay you in a lump sum (one large check).  All our courts decided is (i) whether you suffered a compensable job injury, and if so, (ii) the percentage of your disability.  The defendant can choose to pay you out weekly over the rest of your life should they choose to do so.  The workman compensation insurance carrier loves this part of our law, as they realize that paying an injured worker $150,000.00 at one time is an enticing prospect, as opposed to receiving a ttd check for the rest of your life (or until you are no longer disabled).  What the disabled worker has to factor in is the value of a weekly check over the remainder of their life–it is much more money than the value of the settlement check.  If you are 53 years old and receiving $400 a week from workman comp, then $150,000.00 only represents slightly over 7 years of benefits–in the long run you are being severely short changed and the workman compensation insurance carrier is making off like a bandit.  Having stated this, we realize that given your circumstances, it may be in your best interest to accept a lump sum settlement, and at the end of the day, you are the one who decides whether to accept a settlement.

If you have suffered a work injury and have questions about your right to Alabama Workers’ Compensation benefits, don’t hesitate to contact Powell and Denny and speak with one of the experienced workers compensation lawyers and schedule a free consultation.  Appointments are available in person, or virtually through Zoom for your convenience from wherever you live.

Powell and Denny: We Work When You Can’t

Offices in Birmingham, AL and Huntsville, AL

Alabama Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

Birmingham Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

Hoover Workers Compensation Lawyers

Huntsville Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

North Alabama Workers Compensation Lawyers

Powell and Denny have been selected as one of the Best Law Firms by U.S. News and World Report for each of the last 9 years, have been selected as one of Birmingham’s Top Lawyers by B-Metro Magazine for the last 5 years, have been selected by The National Advocates as one of the Top 20 Workers’ Compensation Firms (plaintiffs) and Powell and Denny, P.C.-has been selected as one of the “Best of the Best” law firms by The American Registry.

Mr. Denny is AV rated by Martindale Hubbard (the highest rating possible) and Mr. Powell has been rated as Superior by The National Registry

+ Powell and Denny have successfully represented injured workers from Birmingham, Huntsville, Florence, Muscle Shoals, Tuscumbia, Athens, Decatur, Town Creek Ardmore, Hartselle, Madison, Toney, Scottsboro, Ft. Payne, New Hope, Guntersville, Albertville, Boaz, Ashville, Anniston, Gadsden, Cullman, Jasper, Gardendale, Morris, Kimberly, Centerpoint, Leeds, Tarrant City, Fairfield, Hueytown, Bessemer, Adger, Tuscaloosa, Cordova, Alabaster, Pelham, Harpersville, Opelika, Phenix City, Montgomery, Clanton, Calera, Enterprise, Monroeville, Mobile, Evergreen, Alabaster, Pelham, Trussville and towns and cities in between.


Pit Falls to look for in an Alabama Workers’ Compensation Settlement

Contact us

Please fill out the form below and one of our attorneys will contact you.

Quick Contact Form

Our Office
  • Birmingham Office
    1320 Alford Avenue
    Suite 201
    Birmingham, Alabama 35226
    Phone: 205-978-2051
    Fax: 205-978-2054
  • Huntsville Office
    600 Boulevard South
    SW Suite 104
    Huntsville, Alabama 35802
    Phone: 256-705-3510
    Fax: 256-705-3513

We Wrote the Book

My Alabama Disability Claim
by William Powell & Gregory Denny
Click Here to Get Your Free Copy